Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Are You Devoted?

People always say things like, "Things happen for a reason" or "God doesn't give you more than you can handle." When I hear things like that, I know those phrases are supposed to comfort me. But it usually throws me into a pity party, followed by tears and the question, "Why me?"

I have never been a very religious person. I do believe in God. I try to pray when I don't need something. Really. I have completely giving up on asking God to make the little lottery balls match my ticket - clearly, he has other things on his mind.

Then, I received this book.
The day after I started reading it, something happened - perhaps for a reason.

This silly story about a beauty queen, stripped of her crown, was all over the news. The young lady won  her title in court. Then, this happened:
Immediately after the trial, Ramirez went to Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church to place the crown on its altar as a gift to the patroness."She's the queen of all queens, the keeper of all crowns. I wanted to give my crown to her," Ramirez said, adding that she could buy a replacement crown for the upcoming Fiesta and Miss Texas appearances that go with the title. "I just wanted to send a message I'm very grateful and she has answered my prayers."
Here's why that made me a bit ragey: we have civil wars - where people are being massacred while fighting for their freedoms - and people in Japan are bravely battling radiation in their homeland. Don't you think God and his helpers would be a little busy with the prayers of the people who have ACTUAL problems than some beauty queen who lost her title with just a few months left in her reign? Doesn't this teenager know she's not a real queen?

When I opened Devotion, I was skeptical and a bit afraid that it would turn out to be an Eat Pray Love kind of experience (not a good thing for me) until I came across chapter 36. Dani Shapiro shares a story about a friend who had a scare when she lost the brakes in her car. Her friend was OK and credited God for saving lives, but Dani had a good point.
Oh, so God singled you out for good fortune? For being on the right side of near misses? For specialness? To distract myself, I clicked on the New York Times Web site. Six Iraqis were killed by a roadside bomb hours earlier. A fire truck had blazed through a Brooklyn building, killing an entire family. A child had been abducted in the Midwest. I didn't believe that God had a hand in that day's tragic events -- any more than I believed that he had steered my friend's rig to safety.
This made me take pause. I couldn't believe I was reading those words while I was trying to settle my own issues (the ones I'm mentioning here - not my other issues). I have never picked up a book like this. I always thought there was something a bit hokey about these books by ladies who have had some sort of spiritual awakening. But this felt different. Dani was dealing with anxiety (among other issues) and looking to faith of any kind to soothe her. She was raised in a Jewish household, identified herself as Jewish, but wasn't practicing the faith. Finding calm in yoga and Buddhism, she eventually resolves her issues - not just with her religion, but with her family.

Could I find inner peace by following the same steps as Dani? Maybe. It's nice to know I'm not the only one who doesn't have all the answers. I was also happy to read this book and not feel like it was a whiny, "Woe is me," sad lady kind of book. I won't carry it around like it's a Bible (because it's not, that would be weird and I don't actually carry around a Bible). But if anyone I know - or those of you who have stumbled upon this - has these questions, I'll suggest this book. It doesn't have all the answers, but any book that has me asking the same questions and not getting all ragey gets my stamp of approval.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Brother Sam

There's this guy who bought a Rolls Royce. Apparently, he didn't think that was enough of an attention getter on its own.

See that in the lower left corner? No? Maybe this will help.

There's a chance he's not the brother of a guy named Sam - or a brother named Sam.

He could be:

I don't know who this guy is, but I'd love to hear from him! Also, I have always really wanted to drive a Rolls Royce, so can I please take your car for a spin around the block? Please?

To see more posts on personalized license plates, click here.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Week In Pop Culture

So, I guess this is how Megan Fox wants to be known, because it's certainly not for her acting skills.

This actor has shrunk - A LOT.

Elizabeth Taylor literally took this secret to the grave.

I'm sad this show was canceled. I liked that it made me punchy.

Guess who's playing John McCain in that Game Change movie...

Have you seen Aretha Franklin lately?

Yet another sequel not worth seeing.

Bravo isn't bringing back those DC Housewives. Fingers crossed they do the same for the Miami snoozers.

Talk TV's Wendy Williams is being sued.

Least surprising story about Whoopi Goldberg.

David Beckham sighting!

Can't wait to see this stylish baby.

If I needed one more reason to not like George Lopez, this is it.

Not sure what to think about that Liberace biopic.

Gwen Stefani is a do-gooder.

Here's how Serena Williams sells her video game.

I hope this guy returns to 30 Rock!

Jessica Biel might have moved on from Justin Timberlake.

I will totally watch this.

Get ready for more Dolly Parton!

Howard Stern wants more money.

Lindsay Lohan is a gambler.

See if you can find what I have in common with Britney Spears.

Hello, Craig David!

If you have a few bucks, you could buy Mel Gibson's home.

Miley Cyrus is spending her hard earned cash like it's going out of style.

Paul Reiser is returning to NBC.

Could All My Children really get the ax?

Mad Men news doesn't always make me happy.

Ellen is in the movie producing business.

OMG! They do smile!

James Gandolfini is headed back to HBO.

Paris Hilton is/was racist. Allegedly. Or maybe not.

Unlike The Oscars, SNL doesn't feel the need to be young and hip.

Kate Walsh says she feels like a loser.

I am super excited about this!

James Franco is not very mature.

Chris Brown does not know how to start over.

Neither does this guy.

This actor says he's had it with nude scenes.

So, Justin Bieber is telling tales.

Not sure this miniseries is necessary, but I'll probably watch it. I will skip this one.

This explains a lot about Sammy Hagar.

Here's Kate Winslet.

Can Simon Cowell really get people to buy more Pepsi?

First, notice Antonio Banderas and his creepy facial hair. Then, look where his eyes are.

This is how Steven Spielberg does a cruise.

I might have wanted to see this documentary in the 90s. Now, not so much.

A Spice Girl is pregnant.

Note to prosecutor: You're not Paris Hilton.

Jodie Foster says she doesn't want to act any more.

I love this kid!
I might see this movie.

This is what happens when two muscley old guys hang out.

I don't think Katy Perry is for real.

Does Gwen Stefani ever look bad?

Apparently everyone doesn't love Wyclef Jean in Haiti.

Lady Gaga is sharing beauty secrets.

Kevin Dillon is ready to move on from Entourage.

These photos were taken just six weeks before Marilyn Monroe's death.

There are rules if you want to dance with Britney Spears.

Victoria Jackson is a jerkette.

Christina Applegate is coming back to TV.

Now Cher is trying to win over the country gays.

This funny lady is expecting her third child.

Billy Crystal is dropping hints that he'd host The Oscars again.

Bradley Cooper and Renee Zellwegger are DONE.

I prefer the Wonder Woman who rocked the giant panties over this one.

A Foo Fighter says he's no Glee fan.

Rest in peace, Knut.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Thing About Mullets

I like spotting mullets. I really do. It's not that I want the hairstyle on my head, but when I see one, it can be the highlight of my day. Yes, I realize that is a sad statement - but it's TRUE. It is more than a statement piece. The mullet is the most obvious way to show how you really feel about life.

Oh, this guy.

Everything about him says, "VACATION!"

Looks like he had his mullet touched up before he left home. The party part is all pretty and blown out!

The bag (on which the only word I can fully make out is "equipment") appears to be packed with giveaway posters. 

Cell phone on the pocket and camera around the neck - this guy is ready for anything.

Last, but not least, the jorts and the t-shirt with the rolled up sleeves. I'm going to say single. Not many ladies would let their fellas get away with that look.

This kid.

I think we all probably knew someone like him. You know, the "Stop calling me Four Eyes!" guy. 

Clearly, he thought if he grew the mullet his hair would become the focus of a bully's attention - not the nerdy glasses.

I'm also guessing, based on this guy's grin that there's a good chance he's wearing braces or he needs them. 

It's also possible he rocks the mullet because he's having a hard time growing facial hair. Seriously, look at that upper lip. It's like he's willing the hair to grow as free as the hair on the back of his head. 

On second thought, maybe he's just growing the mullet so it can be long enough to wrap around his face.

I would call this the "working man's mullet," but I'm having a hard time believing this guy has a job - besides posing as a mullet model.

This guy makes hard-working mullet wearers look bad. The hair on his head is better groomed than the hair on his body.

Plus, the whole "stick hanging out of the mouth" and more than one ring on a hand appears to be a redneck pimp thing. Not cute, mister.

Don't think I haven't noticed the beat up pickup. You, sir, are a horrible stereotype. Shame on you!

These are also shameful:

While I love these mullets and I do admire the effort it takes to commit to this high maintenance hairstyle (the frequent trims, the blowouts, the styling), I say don't decide to enter into the mullet without thinking things through. Photos live forever. 

And once they hit the Internet, they never die. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just Like A "Real" Housewife!

I'm not a housewife, but I am real! Really! I AM!!! I totally confess to watching every episode of this series - even the (yawn) Miami girls who are definitely real - REAL BORING.

I noticed a lot of these ladies are making a killing - not from their Bravo show, but from a whole line of products. So, if money is no object, I can be just like them!

Vicki Gunvalson
She's the one from Orange County who's always saying, "I work!" Well, if self-promotion is a job, she's the queen! On her plate:

  • More Than A Housewife - In addition to her insurance company, Vicki has added author to her job titles. So, ladies AND gentlemen, you, too can go from tough times to living it up. WOO HOO!
  • Radio host - I didn't listen to the show, but I'm pretty sure the advice includes "WORK!" and "WORK MORE!"
  • Eyelash Growth Stimulator - How else do you woo customers than with your super-long lashes? 
Gretchen Rossi
This girl's not married, but she qualifies as a housewife. And it's probably a good thing for her because she has some stuff to sell.
  • Makeup - She has a line of moderately-priced products. The site says you won't feel like you're wearing makeup. Hmmm. I'm not a believer. Every time I see this girl on the show, it looks like she has a LOT of makeup on. Either she's not wearing her own line or the product is not as advertised.
  • Clothing - This girl is literally selling the clothes off her back. So if you're teeny tiny and like to show off your, um, assets, go for it, ladies!
  • Handbags - The bags are cute, but not exactly unique. I have see the same bags by bigger names for considerably less. If I'm going to pay that much for a bag, I'm choosing an established brand for my investment. I'd pass on these.
  • Tan Like Gretchen - If you want to know how she keeps from being pasty white, this is the secret. And it'll cost you.
Alexis Bellino
Reading her profile, I find it interesting that one of the things mentioned is her "older husband." It's a good thing she has a nanny (or two) to take care of her kids because she's not just a mother.
  • Hotel - Her site says "My Hotel," and the link takes you to Invogue Laguna Beach. The hotel is a step up from a Holiday Inn Express, but not quite the Four Seasons. I couldn't see what her involvement is in this place, so it could be anything from: a cocktail inspired by her, a room designed/inspired by her or actual ownership of the place.
  • Clothing - If you like your dress cut down to your navel and the hemline that barely covers your booty, get ready for this line (her shop is not up and running at this writing).
  • Everything Else - If she's your role model and doesn't make the product you want, you can buy anything to be just like Alexis.
Ramona Singer
This New York lady and her super wide eyes (also crazy-looking) is always doing one of two things on this show: working or drinking wine. I like that. We could be sisters - if I would admit that I'm completely looney while making a profit. Her other jobs:
  • Wine - FINALLY a product from one of these ladies that does not involve hoochie/cougar attire! And if you're almost always going to be seen drinking something, isn't it better if you get paid for it?
  • Jewelry - She has a line on HSN and another one that is mostly religious. I'm willing to be every piece she wears on the new season of RHONYC is from her own collection. 
  • Skin Care - The product descriptions are good, but I'm not putting these on my face without a sampler (so, Ramona, email me!).
LuAnn de Lesseps
The Countess! She has a few side gigs.
  • Book - Class lessons. I'm not so sure ordinary people are picking this up - unless it's for the novelty of owning this.
  • Music - If you use auto tune in your music, count me out. I don't care if "Elegance is learned," it doesn't make a great lyric. Neither does "Money can't buy you class." Try getting that out of your head, my friend.
Kelly Killoren Bensimon
Well, she might be one of the nuttiest ladies on this show, but if it helps her sell her stuff, I guess that's good?
  • Books - She's written not one, but THREE books! That alone makes the other housewives look like slackers!
  • Jewelry - So. Many. Feathers. It's like a tranny's boa exploded onto an earring/necklace. But if that's your thing, she's got it.
  • Clothing - Nothing really special here. However, if you're looking for hoochie attire, she's not your housewife. It's mostly lounge wear - including panties (?).
Jill Zarin
She is the busiest of the busy bodies - and I'm not just talking about business, though she does have a lot on her plate.
  • Book - I'm not Jewish, but if I wanted a Jewish mother, I'd pick up this book - from the sale rack.
  • Shapewear - So this is the secret to looking squeezed into your housewife clothes? Got it.
  • Fabrics - I got nothing on this.
I'm not looking up the Miami girls (too boring to have an interesting thing to sell) - or those ladies from seasons that aren't in the rotation right now. I've given you plenty of ways to live out your housewife dreams. As much as I like these shows (mostly for the opportunities to roll my eyes and shout "What is wrong with you?" at the telelvision), I can't see spending a penny on any of their products. 

Unless you pay me.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Book Lovers Unite!

I have shared my renewed love of  reading here. But now, I've taken it to a new level - and I hope you'll join me!

I have been posting pictures of the books I've read and am ready to pass on to my friends on Facebook. Some books go quickly, others are like the ugly dog at the shelter - people look and keep right on going. This month, one of the pop culture bloggers I follow posted this little tip about a book recommendation site called Goodreads. I checked out the site and decided to join. I haven't entered every single book I've read, but I will in time. I did go back through my blog to get my mini-reviews of the books I read last year. Then, I discovered the site has a swap section. That's when I decided to enter those sad books that have been collecting dust while waiting to be discovered.
Within an hour, I had people wanting to take those books off my hands! Note: One person wants five of the books (all the big, heavy ones) and I'm just not willing to box those and hurt myself dropping them off at the post office. I was SO excited! So here's how it works. One woman wanted this book:
I went to one of Goodreads' partner sites, BookCrossing and registered to get an ID number for my books. What's cool about this? Well, as long as the people who pick up this book see the label, go to the site and update the book's status/make a review, I'll know my book is a live and well and being enjoyed/hated by anyone anywhere in the world! I think that's kind of cool. This is the next step:
I put the label inside the book and cross my fingers that the next reader will follow the instructions. Then, I go back to Goodreads and print out the postage label (the person who wants the book pays for this). I didn't have an envelope big enough for the book, so I grabbed a brown paper bag , cut it up and wrapped the book. Last step: putting the label on the book.
Now, all I have to do is drop this off at the post office!

That done, I spent the rest of the morning putting Book Crossing labels in all the other books I'm ready to send off. I hope my fellow book lovers will join me in this new adventure! If you join Goodreads, please find me. Maybe we'll have some books to swap!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

OOOOH! Supermoon!

I wish this had been my view of the moon last night.
Or this.
Instead, this is what I saw.
That includes a zoom! I suppose it looked a lot bigger, but unless the moon is so close I can touch it, I wouldn't know. And if it is that close, we probably have a real problem on our hands.

I've seen some stories talking about the moon's effect on our planet. Debunked repeatedly. But if that's not enough for you, I'm going to share facts from my favorite science guy, Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Then, he decided to have a little moon fun.

Back to the real business.

So, the moon won't moon us? Interesting.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Twitterverse Has Lost Its Mind

People, I have seen these images from Japan:

They are as scarier to me than any horror film. NOTE: I am easily scared by any thing that can kill me. It is totally understandable that people have questions they want answered. Twitter is definitely an easy place to find them. I just searched for nuclear experts there and found these people. But I saw this and it made me scared for the future.

SERIOUSLY? You people are asking Paula Abdul for advice about radiation from nuclear plants? I'm glad she didn't try to pass herself off as an expert.

And being her cheerful self, Paula provided this insight.

Now, I love me some Paula Abdul, but I'd ask her for dance tips and happy pills before I'd talk to her about radiation. It might be more helpful if Paula would point her followers to someone else or the information on this business instead of giving it her happy spin. Maybe some people were baiting her, hoping to get some looney answer that could make her look bad. Maybe they just don't know how to find answers themselves. If that's the case, I wish those people would get off the Internet and Twitter and get to a library or school. Oh, also, I'd like them to get out of the gene pool. NOW.